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Offline dwa60

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mach 3
« on: October 09, 2017, 08:33:45 PM »
To JOEAVERAGE Here are the photos you asked for. I HOPE
Re: mach 3
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 09:22:52 PM »
Hi dwa60,
kool shots. That is a USB external controller, not sure what one yet. Hoping maybe tweakie recognises it.

It will need a board specific plugin. Did your machine come with any software? When you plug it in to the PC
does anything come ip on the PC which indicates that its talking to the board?

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

Offline dwa60

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Re: mach 3
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 11:51:46 PM »
The board is a 4 axis usbcnc controller interface board cncusb mk1 usbcnc 2.1, I was told that the baord I have now will not work, it has grbl on it. I have been using laser's for almost 5 yrs now, and wante to change. It is very hard to change to CNC router, no one want's to help. I built it my self, a copy of open build. The software I am using now is very limited. I bought this board because I was told it is for Mach 3 an 4, I will tell you people a litter about myself. First I am 72, had heart surgery last year, 2015 I died twice, had to have a pace maker put in. Then I had to have all my teeth pulled before surgery, in 2015 we almost lost our house to a flood. Been retired for 15 yrs now. The laser an cnc keep me busy.
My machine has 3 stepper motors on it, 2 nema 17 an one 23.
That is it I hope.
Dennis
Re: mach 3
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 12:02:02 AM »
Hi dwa60,
the USB board you pictured...you bought it recently? Does it have any supporting documentation or software? You are going
to need it.

Quote
Many Mach3 users won't offer assistance, as they've spent hours trying to help people, only to find out in the end, that the issue is with the chinese board.
this from a very experienced CNCer. If the board doesn't owe you too much consider
a Smoothstepper or Smartbob. The companies involved won't let you down.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: mach 3
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 02:00:29 AM »
Hi Dwa60,

That particular board is a Chinese 'knock-off' from the Planet CNC Mk1 board. Although it may work with Mach3 it was, I think, intended for use with the USBCNC software and Planet CNC claim this is not legal and condemn the use of the board.

As Craig has suggested, an ESS Smooth Stepper (or other, similar motion controller) is probably your best way forward. That way you will have a working set-up with full back-up and support.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: mach 3
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 03:07:44 AM »
Hi dwa60,
Bugger!...Double Bugger!!....The only thing I buy Chinese is chop suey. No I don't mean that but really the worst of Chinese cheat business tactics
seem to come out with hobby CNC products. If you value your blood pressure then ditch that board and get a decent one.

I use an Ethernet Smoothstepper from Warp9 but there are four companies competing in the 'value' end of the external controller market. They
each have strengths and weaknesses but they all work and all four companies back up their gear and none of them are Chinese.

https://warp9td.com/
https://www.pmdx.com/
https://www.poscope.com/products/pokeys-devices/
http://www.cncdrive.com/

Really should complete the list with some manufacturers of excellent gear but rather more pricey

http://en.cs-lab.eu/
http://www.vitalsystem.com/portal/index.php
http://www.galilmc.com/

Note that all these motion controllers the communication link to the PC is either USB or Ethernet. Ethernet is faster and preferred but not a lot in it.
Note also that all these units have a software plugin that is resident on the PC to allow Mach to communicate with the board and to program the IC
on the board. All of the boards have plugins for Mach 3 and now most have plugins for Mach 4 as well if you want to step up. Given the number
of knock-offs floating around I would recommend buying direct from the manufacturer or their nominated distributor.

Should point out that there are a lot of breakout boards advertised but they are not a controller. They are intended to go between the controller and your
motor drivers, limit switches etc. They will work with a parallel port. Because they are so simple they are pretty cheap, but remember that requires
that your PC have at least one parallel port plug AND have a Windows 7 or earlier 32 bit operating system. Even then you need a bit of luck to
get a parallel port to work well. I used a parallel port for several years and while a bit cranky from time to time hard to beat for price/performance.
With the current prices of good external controllers its hard to recommend a parallel port unless you are stony broke.

Craig

My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

Offline dwa60

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Re: mach 3
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 09:30:31 PM »
Thank You, going to have to save more money.
Re: mach 3
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2017, 02:34:14 AM »
Hi dwa60,
what computer have you got running your machine?. If its an older XP machine then using a parallel port is a perfectly acceptable
alternative to shelling out yet more bucks particularly if they're in short supply!

A good rule to stick to is to use the computer that controls your machine to do just that and NOTHING else. Someone on the forum described
it: 'When a computer is hooked to and controlling a machine tool it is NO LONGER a personal computer....it is a machine controller that just happens
to use Windows as an operating system'.

Its not unreasonable then to have a computer just for your machine. You may ask around the family and friends to see whether anyone has an
old computer that might fill the bill. A PC doesn't need to be a 'whizz bang' unit, in fact the earlier less powerful PCs seem to do a better job.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!

Offline dwa60

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Re: mach 3
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2017, 02:04:33 PM »
The computer that is hooked to my CNC is an acer laptop, windows 7, 32 bit, this computer stays in the garage, I have another acer in the house for me. I have been wanting to use Mach 3, sence I built the machine, the softwae I am using now is VERY limited. I also use the garage laptop for my laser machine, that is why it stays in the garage. I have bought 6 board from ebay to see if any would work Mach3, I use the four steeper motors I have extra, I load up Mach3 and then try to run the motors, nothing. This is the second machine I built, the first one I sold, I got mad because I could not get Mach to work on it, the person who bought it wrote me and said he has it running on Mach 4, he will not tell me how he did it. That is what I ment before, people will not tell me any thing about how to run Mach 3 or 4.
I want to than you for replying to me, you are the first person that has.
Thank You
Dennis
Re: mach 3
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 03:39:59 PM »
Hi dwa60,
laptops are generally unsuitable as platforms for Machs parallel port. All the powesaving features of laptops interferes
with the smooth and continuous operation of the CPU which the parallel port requires. The laptop would be very
suitable for Mach with an external controller such as I've already mentioned.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!